How Elon Musk Is Changing the Twitter Experience

Nearly six months after buying Twitter, Mr. Musk has made tweaks that have altered what people see on the platform and how they interact with it.
Friday - 07/04/2023 07:02 Author: Editors Desk Source: N.Y Times
Amy Lombard for The New York Times
Amy Lombard for The New York Times

By Kate Conger

Kate Conger, a tech reporter in San Francisco, has reported on Twitter since 2018.

April 7, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET

Elon Musk has declared he wants to transform Twitter into an all-inclusive app that people can use for payments, news and food orders.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Mr. Musk posted in October, weeks before completing a $44 billion acquisition of the social network. He later said Twitter could be like WeChat, the popular Chinese app that combines social media, instant messaging and payment services.

But nearly six months after Mr. Musk took over Twitter, his ambitions for the platform have remained mostly that — ambitions.

Although the billionaire has made dozens of tweaks to Twitter, they have largely been cosmetic. His changes have mostly affected the platform’s appearance, said Jane Manchun Wong, an independent software engineer who studies social apps. Those updates include adding more symbols and metrics displayed with tweets, but Twitter’s main elements — making it a place to quickly share news and discuss live events — haven’t altered.

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